Support for the Mott’s Workers’ Strike in Williamson, New York

Whereas, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPS), maker of Mott’s apple juice, is in an exceptionally strong financial position, and has admitted that it has no financial need for concessions by workers: the company made $555 million in net profit last year, experienced a 28 percent increase in their stock after releasing their February 2010 earnings report, more than doubled the salary of President and CEO Larry Young, and gave bonuses and increases to company executives; and

Whereas, despite its strong financial position, when DPS entered contract negotiations this year with RWDSU/UFCW Local 220 at the Mott’s apple juice facility in Williamson, NY, the company demanded a $1.50 an hour across the board wage cut, elimination of the pension for all new hires, a freeze of the pension plan for existing employees, and a 20 percent cut in the DPS match to the 401K plan; and

Whereas, DPS, like other large corporations, sought to take advantage of the high unemployment in the area, and told union workers—some of whom have worked for the plant for more than 40 years—to think of themselves as a “commodity” like “soybeans or oil”—when the supply goes up, the price goes down—and cited lower wages at local facilities as a rationale for the concessions; and

Whereas, the company illegally imposed its “last, best and final offer” on May 23, including the demands for wage and pension cuts, leaving the union no choice but to go on strike; therefore be it

Resolved, that the PSC stand with the more than 300 courageous members of Local 220 in their strike, as they stand up to corporate greed, not only for themselves but for all workers; workers are not “soybeans”; and be it further

Resolved, that the PSC join other participants in the labor movement in condemning DPS’s attempt to take advantage of the recession and subsequent unemployment to force wages and benefits down; and be it further

Resolved, that this resolution be sent to the striking Mott’s workers, RWDSU/UFCW, NYSUT and DPS President and CEO Larry Young.

Passed unanimously by the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY Delegate Assembly, June 17, 2010